Thermal decomposition of CO2 using CeO2 and hercynite

https://www.nedo.go.jp/news/press/AA5_101720.html

As part of the NEDO-funded “International Collaborative Research and Development of Solar Heat Collection Reactor for Carbon Dioxide Decomposition” Niigata University, the Institute of Industrial Science of the University of Tokyo, Shinshu University and the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a technology that uses a new reactive substance to decompose carbon dioxide by collecting solar heat. The technology uses ceria (CeO2), which has the property of absorbing and releasing reactive oxygen, and new hercynite (FeAl2O4) to create foam devices. By firing at a high temperature and irradiating it with concentrated sunlight, a redox reaction occurs, successfully separating carbon dioxide gas into oxygen and carbon monoxide.

The successful thermal decomposition of ceria under a wide range of conditions, including high temperatures above 1600℃, and the successful thermal decomposition of hercynite using a foam device are both world firsts. Since this technology has established the promise of highly efficient carbon dioxide decomposition, it is expected to be applied to lower costs in the production of fuel derived from solar energy.

Niigata University and the University of Colorado Boulder conducted an indoor experiment using focused light using a xenon lamp and an experiment using a solar furnace owned by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Using ceria and hercynite foam devices as reactive substances, we succeeded in separating carbon dioxide gas into oxygen and carbon monoxide.

This is the first time that thermal decomposition using ceria and hercynite thermal decomposition using a foam device have been successfully achieved under a wide range of conditions, including a high temperature range of 1600°C or higher. This technology demonstrated that ceria has very good reactivity at high temperatures, and we were able to complete the conceptual design of a high-efficiency plant using ceria. On the other hand, it has been revealed that hercynite has high reactivity at lower temperatures. While cerium, the raw material for ceria, is a rare earth and is expensive, hercynite can be manufactured from inexpensive iron and aluminum, making it possible to dramatically reduce manufacturing costs. Now that the prospect of highly efficient carbon dioxide decomposition has been established, it is expected that it will be applied to lower costs in solar fuel production.

Thermal decomposition of CO2 using CeO2 and hercynite
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